Panning for 'gold' at the Creston Museum's 2015 kids day.

Creston Museum preparing to open for 2016 season

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  • May. 1, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Its season may last less than five months, but the Creston Museum is always ready to pack in as many events as possible — allowing visitors plenty of opportunities to learn about the Creston Valley and its history.

The season officially starts Saturday, and will be open seven days a week starting June 11.

The first full week of June is Locals’ Week, featuring extended hours and special admission rates just for Creston Valley residents, wrapping up with Kids’ Day on June 11, when families can enjoy a wide range of activities from the past. In previous years, the day’s events have included “gold” panning, tug of war and fruit packing.

From June 18-July 9, visitors can check out “Retro Girls”, “a special exhibit by four local artists, taking retro and vintage clothing with old objects gleaned from second hand stores, and combining them in new and unexpected ways,” said museum manager Tammy Hardwick. “The exhibit will be dispersed throughout the museum’s exhibit galleries, so visitors will come across the unexpected… unexpectedly.”

Returning this summer are the popular “Pioneer Lessons”, which explore how the Creston Valley’s pioneers lived, Tuesdays and Saturdays in July and August (except Aug. 13). Visitors can find out how they made their homes, grew their food, did their chores and learned their school lessons.

“It’s totally hands-on, sometimes messy and always fun,” said Hardwick.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the heritage and orchard bus tours will return, with a variety of routes and stops to explore the valley’s history, as well as food, agriculture and the arts.

“Orchards will only be the start of it — we’ll be visiting greenhouses, gardens, galleries and grain elevators, with some delicious food samples and maybe even a pig roast along the way,” said Hardwick.

The annual tea, a perennial favourite, will be held Aug. 13, with the theme “Hard Times” and a menu that reflects the hobo lifestyle. Guests are encouraged to attend in their best hobo attire, with prizes for the best costumes. Special guests from Creston’s past will also be on hand to tell what life was like in the Dirty Thirties.

A special exhibit, “Born to the Soil”, already opened April 30 (in conjunction with the museum’s annual general meeting) and runs through the summer, highlighting the efforts of European settlers forging a new life in the valley.

“Some had farming experience in their old countries; many did not,” said Hardwick. “Either way, once they arrived in the Creston Valley these industrious, stalwart people discovered a love of the land and became integral members of their new communities.”

To learn more, visit or contact the museum at 250-428-9262.

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